Comfortable Garden Living Space with Rattan Furniture
Rattan is a functional, eye-catching and strong material for garden and conservatory furniture, it fits in well with most design themes and won’t seem out of place in traditional or modern spaces. Rattan is harvested from a climbing plant, then the processed material is woven around a frame of wood or stainless steel, producing versatile, attractive pieces, which are tough enough to cope with regular use.
Rattan weaving is an ancient art, but it was in the Victorian era that rattan furniture for the home and garden first became fashionable in England. By the mid-1800s highly decorative seats, tables and stools made from rattan were being mass produced in the U.S and the U.K. These were followed later on in the 20th century by synthetic versions which proved cheaper to make and were more able to withstand the weather.
Rattan Furniture Designs
You can find a full and varied range of rattan garden furniture, in muted shades of grey, black, olive and cream.
Cube Sets – Cube furniture is an angular and space saving solution, because the straight lines add uniformity it always looks neat. You can buy a compact dining set with matching chairs that slot neatly under the table when they are not in use, as well as larger versions with space for four, six or eight people. There are also sets which include a corner sofa, stools and coffee tables, for a more casual alfresco vibe.
Bistro Tables and Chairs – Bistro tables and chairs tend to be more lightweight, with the seating arranged around a circular table that has a glass surface. These look especially at home on a patio, balcony, or small deck, but can also be positioned at the end of the garden to create a picturesque retreat.
Sun Loungers – Sun loungers and recliners offer an extravagant way of laying back in your own garden and enjoying the view. Some are made with two fixed positions, whilst other versions can be adjusted in six different ways. For an even more luxurious experience, buy a recliner which comes with its own cushions.
Footstool – Footstools can make a very versatile and functional addition to your garden or conservatory. Whilst some are plain stools, others have a lid which can be lifted up for storing items inside. Most have elevated feet so they are simple to reposition and a cushion on top for added comfort. Choose from round or square stools in a range of colours to fit in with your other rattan furniture.
Wine Coolers – You can find rattan wine coolers which serve two purposes at the same time. Once loaded with ice, the lower bucket compartment will keep your drinks cool, but above, the flat lid makes for an excellent table.
2 Reasons to Choose Rattan for Your Garden
Rattan furniture has never really gone out of style because it’s organic appearance makes it unique. Unlike other types of garden décor and seating, it blends well with the outdoors, fitting in perfectly with shrubs, trees and plants. Furniture with a natural edge looks timeless, investing your garden with effortless charm and a relaxed atmosphere.
A Convenient Option at a Great Price – As rattan furniture is so light compared to items of similar durability, it can be moved around your patio or garden without any difficulty. Moreover, although it is sturdy enough to be in constant use, synthetic rattan, in particular, is not hugely expensive.
Easy to Care for in all Weathers – Most of us leave our garden furniture out all year round and synthetic rattan can cope well outside. Unlike wood, this material doesn’t need regular coats of paint or preservatives to keep it in good condition year after year. When it gets dirty, you can give it wipe down with warm water, or hose it off if you prefer.
The Ideal Spot
Size is one of the most important considerations when it comes to buying new garden furniture, as if you buy a suite that’s too big it will dominate your garden, but if it’s too small your family and friends might not all get a seat. Treat it like you would a dining table or sofa, by getting out a tape measure and making a note of the area you’ll be using. Next, see if you can fit in any extra items, like planters or footstools, as these can add an attractive design element to basic furniture.
Finally, think about the location of your seating area in relation to the weather, will you be in direct sunlight or shadow and do you have any protection on windy days? A great view is always a focal point in the garden, but you can also add interesting features like plants, ornaments or mirrors if you lack scenery. You want to unwind and put your feet up in this space, so try to think of anything which could have an impact.
How to Protect Your Patio Furniture
What Will It Be Used For?
Once you’ve established where the furniture will be placed, take a moment to think about what you’ll be using it for. Will it just be you, your partner and a bottle of wine at the end of the day, will you by inviting lots of friends or family over for barbeques, or will it double up as a children’s play area? The use you have in mind should influence the type and amount of furniture you buy.
People like to be seated comfortably, but you’ll also need to leave pathways clear for them to mill around. Two people may have enough leg room in a restricted space, but after you’ve pulled the chairs away from a table, a larger group could feel squeezed. Try to leave enough room around the seats for everyone to get up and leave by stepping back, this stops people from crossing over each other and trying to navigate around the table. We naturally place chairs facing each other to encourage conversation, but the addition of a simple coffee table will create a cosier feel and give people somewhere to put their food or drink.
Whatever arrangement you opt for, always try to place the longest item of rattan furniture you have against the house, wall or fence. Once it’s in place, you can dot the smaller pieces around it in a more space-efficient way.
Natural or Synthetic Rattan? – 7 Questions to Think About
Natural rattan that is made from the actual climbing plant is strong, light and simple to keep clean, but the synthetic version is more resistant to damp and can last longer. Synthetic rattan can be made from plastic, vinyl, or polyethene (PE). It is used just like the real thing and woven around a frame made from steel or wood.
Which Looks Better? – No one can deny the charm of furniture made from natural materials, the pieces look warm and authentic in a way that man-made products cannot. However, synthetic rattan is exceptionally similar to the natural version. The range of colours, styles and designs available in both materials make them hard to tell apart. It can sometimes come down to the style of weave employed, rather than the actual material, which influences the overall look of a piece.
Which is More Robust? – Natural rattan is better suited to a conservatory or sunroom than being placed outdoors permanently. Although it can withstand a certain degree of exposure, it will benefit from a coat of varnish if it is to get soaked by regular downpours. You can overcome the problem by keeping it indoors during the colder months or by using a cover for added protection. The synthetic version is more of an all-weather product, many varieties are resistant to UV and damp, so they can be left outdoors at all times.
Are They Equally Comfortable? – You will not be able to notice the difference in comfort between a natural and a synthetic sofa, rather it is the type of weave, the size and the style which influence how good a piece of furniture feels to sit on. Plus, many people use cushions on their garden furniture to add a splash of colour and to produce a softer feel.
Maintaining the Appearance of Natural and Synthetic Rattan – In general, neither type of material needs a huge amount of attention other than the odd rub down with warm water and a mild soap. Natural rattan is far more likely to need extra help if it is left outside, as the fibres can trap moisture and become prone to mildew. This is not an issue inside of course, where a brief dust is all that is needed. Outdoors, synthetic furniture is far easier to maintain, you can leave it in the garden all year round and if it has UV protection, it will look the same year after year.
Is Synthetic Rattan Eco-Friendlier? – We tend to think of synthetic materials as being less environmentally friendly than natural ones, but this depends on a number of factors. When rattan is harvested in a sustainable way it preserves the plant’s natural habitat and future survival, without harming the forest. Most manufacturers are proud of their green credentials and will advertise them prominently, so it’s easy to learn more before you buy. Similarly, synthetic rattan which is made from recycled or recyclable fibres is also environmentally friendly and this will be mentioned in the product’s description.
Which is More Expensive? – The price of rattan furniture depends more on the quality of its workmanship than materials, but on the whole, synthetic furniture can be cheaper. This is because the best natural rattan pieces are made from sustainable resources and put together in a facility with high production standards. In comparison, the synthetic version is cheaper to manufacture.
Natural vs Synthetic – Which to Choose? – Natural rattan makes an attractive addition to a conservatory, offering a distinct texture and feel, but they are not ideal for leaving outdoors all year. When you want to find cheaper rattan garden furniture without compromising on the visual finish, or longevity, synthetic rattan will perform exactly the same function as natural, but may last longer.
How to Select the Ideal Rattan Suite or Individual Piece
Aesthetics are key when it comes to choosing any furniture for the home or garden, but where you plan to place them is equally important.
Synthetic garden furniture tends to fare better than natural outside. So, if you plan to keep your rattan furniture in the garden avoid natural materials. Heavier items are less likely to be blown around in a gale and it makes sense to invest in covers which add protection when the furniture is not in use.
Conservatories provide us with the chance to enjoy the garden during the winter months, which is why many people buy rattan furniture to use there. As indoor furniture won’t be affected by the elements, you can make a purchase based more on how the items look and how comfortable they are. Light corner sofas, glass-topped coffee tables and ornamental chairs are ideal, as they’ll be kept safely inside.
To kit out another room, like the lounge or a snug, with rattan pieces, you need to think about your existing interior design theme and current furniture. A casual chair can look too informal against more solid furniture, so a more contemporary rattan design might be a better option.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Rattan Furniture?
Rattan furniture tends to fit in well with any garden, patio or conservatory, but there are a few factors you’ll need to consider before you buy.
A durable choice which can withstand the odd knock or bump.
A unique material that blends well in a natural environment.
Has a timeless appeal and works in modern or cottage gardens.
A lightweight choice which can last as long as wooden furniture with the right care.
UV resistant versions can sit in the sun day after day without fading.
Available in a huge range of sizes and styles to meet every requirement.
Natural rattan can be expensive, reflecting its labour-intensive production.
Cleaning is important if the original look and feel of rattan is to be retained, dust and other particles often settle into the tight weave.
In a persistently damp environment, natural rattan can attract mildew if it is not cleaned regularly.
How to Find Discounts on Rattan Garden Furniture
You can get your lawn or deck ready for summer by shopping for rattan garden furniture at Tesco, eBay and Amazon, or specialist retailers like Rattan Direct and Wayfair. A wide selection of chairs, tables and stools are also on offer at garden centres like Homebase, high street shops like Argos, B&Q, and larger department stores like John Lewis, all of which have online ordering facilities.
In the late summer and winter months, the prices of garden furnishings are slashed as stores get rid of their warm weather stock to make way for other items. From September onwards, you’ll find the previous summer’s rattan furniture in clearance sale areas at greatly reduced rates. By Black Friday in November, the discounts are likely to be even more sizable.
Rattan Garden Furniture Offers HotUKDeals
At HotUKDeals we search out all the latest bargain buys from numerous online stores, then we publish the details together on our rattan garden furniture page.